Privacy concerns have plagued Yahoo for weeks now. Towards the end of September, the company confirmed details of a massive data breach that compromised over 500 million accounts, including information on users’ names, email addresses, passwords, phone numbers, dates of birth, and security answers.
Even more recently, the company conceded that it had scanned emails for a U.S. intelligence agency, sparking a new wave of privacy concerns and leading some users to consider moving to a more secure email service.
Unfortunately, Yahoo Mail users may find it hard to make the switch. At the beginning of the month, the company disabled mail forwarding, saying that the tool is now “under development.” While the move doesn’t affect users who were already forwarding their mail to another account, it will prevent those who want to send emails to a new forwarding address.
Mail forwarding is a common tool used by users who have decided to make the switch from one email account or service to another; it allows them to send any mail received by an old account to another account automatically.
In the wake of the privacy scandals, many Yahoo Mail users may have hoped to do just that, but disabling the feature has essentially locked them in. Although Yahoo has every right to disable its tool, users can’t help but be suspicious that the company would make it harder to leave just as its controversies were revealed to the public. After all, email forwarding is a pretty universal tool provided by most email services, and Yahoo has been using it for years.
However, Yahoo has stated that disabling the feature had been previously planned and that it would be working to restore it as soon as possible.
“We’re working to get auto-forward back up and running as soon as possible because we know how useful it can be to our users. The feature was temporary disabled as part of previously planned maintenance to improve its functionality between a user’s various accounts,” said a Yahoo spokeswoman in a statement.